Dropouts Essay example

890 Words Jun 4th, 2012 4 Pages
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? . . . Or does it explode?
These lines are taken from the poem “Harlem” by African-American poet Langston Hughes. Written in 1951, the poem asks what happens when people cannot achieve their dreams because of racial prejudice. More recently, it inspired the title of a 1995 report on high school dropouts by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)—Dreams Deferred: High School Dropouts in the United States. The report uses some of the latest information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education to discuss the hundreds of thousands of young people who drop out of school each year.
The dreams of these young dropouts are
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Dropout rates for Hispanic students exceed the national average and are among the highest in the nation. Dropout rates for African-American students also surpass the national average. Native Americans, too, have a high dropout rate, but because of their relatively small numbers government studies do not show them as a separate group.
“I was invisible”
Why do students drop out of high school? Their reasons are many. Some are personal, such as pregnancy or the need to help support their families. Most, however, are school-related. Most students who dropped out were doing poorly in school, and many felt that their teachers didn’t care. Only 18 percent reported to the NCES that they had passing grades in their last year of school. Often, dropouts felt that they didn’t fit in, or they couldn’t get along with their teachers or fellow students. One New York City teen told researcher Edwin Farrell:
I think people drop out of school [because] of the pressure that school brings them. Like, sometimes the teacher might get on the back of a student so much that the student doesn’t want to do the work. . . . And then that passes and he says, “I’m gonna start doing good. . . .” Then he’s not doing as good as he’s supposed to and when he sees his grade, he’s, “you mean I’m doin’ all that for nothin’? I’d rather not come to school.”
One student talked about older teens in school: “I think kids drop out of school because [they’re getting] too old to be in high

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